Book Reviews

The Princess Games by Cordelia Castel

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 516
Series: The Princess Trials #2
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Survival Games
Published: August 13, 2020
Rating: 4 stars


The stakes are higher and the competition more brutal in round two of the Princess Trials. Zea’s relationship with Prince Kevon intensifies, and she must choose between the prince and the rebel who holds her heart.

When her enemies uncover a secret that drives a rift between Zea and Prince Kevon, she’s not only battling for survival but facing execution.


I ate up the first book like crazy. It had been a while since I had a book keep me on the edge. Now this book on the other hand… I’m not saying it’s bad, but it’s not as good as the first book. At times it was slow and getting towards the end of the book it seemed it was wrapping up, but then something happens.

Just when I thought my troubles were over, just when I thought I could return to Rugosa to my anonymous life as a Harvester apprentice, Queen Damascena brings me back into the Princess Trials.

Zea was happy at the end of the first book. She was about to go home and see the boy she loved. But the Queen ruined that by inviting her to stay in the game. Zea has no idea who to trust. She just wants to go home. But the Queen won’t allow it. Now Zea just has to survive the game.

In the beginning, a lot more action took place and I was on the edge of my seat. But then some stuff popped up and everything slowed down to a lull. About 75% through something happens and it helped the story a bit.

I’m hoping the next book is more like the first book.

Book Reviews

The Princess Trials by Cordelia K. Castel

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 504
Series: The Princess Trials #1
Genre: Dystopia, YA
Published: May 3, 2020


Thirty young women. A handsome prince. A battle to the death

Water is scarce. Deserts have taken over the land. Nuclear war has devastated humanity. Humans live in walled super cities to keep out the irradiated. The land that was formerly known as America is divided into kingdoms ruled by royal elites.

Born into the lowest Echelon of the Kingdom of Phangloria, sixteen-year-old Zea Calico faces a life of hunger, thirst, and toil. The only way out of this drudgery is revolution, and Zea is desperate to help the cause.

When the palace calls for candidates to compete to marry Prince Kevon, Zea joins the Princess Trials to search the palace for weaknesses.

The trials should be a fairytale of sumptuous meals, ballgowns, and romance, but one misplaced word causes Zea to attract the Prince’s attention. When Zea uncovers the man beneath Prince Kevon’s public facade, she is at risk of falling in love and losing sight of her mission.

But the televised beauty pageant turns deadly, and Zea must fight for survival.


Water, not food, is the currency in our Echelon. Echelons are levels of society that define a person’s caste, social status, access to resources, and freedom.

Zea is a harvester. The harvesters are at the bottom of Phangloria’s system. The system consists of six echelons. Royals, Nobles, Guardians, Artisans, Industrials, and Harvesters make up the system. There are also the Foundlings that live outside until they prove they can contribute to society. Phangloria is a country in North America. They are separated from the desert by the Great Wall. The country only has one water source, the Oasis. The harvesters live the furthest from the Oasis.

The Princess Trials are an old tradition where the king and queen invite young women of any echelons to compete for the prince’s hand.

Infiltrate the palace, find the hidden entrances, and don’t fall in love with the handsome prince.

To help the revolution Zea enters the Princess Trials. There is only one problem. Harvesters never get picked.

This started out slow and at first, I didn’t know what to expect. In the synopsis, it says it’s a mixture of The Hunger Games and The Selection. I haven’t personally read The Selection but read many reviews on it. I loved The Hunger Games.

This didn’t disappoint. Like I said at first it started slow but once the first girl died, it picked up. I was on the edge of my seat. I can’t tell you when the last time a book had me like this. OH, I am so glad we had more than one awesome kick-butt heroine. You didn’t know who to trust and what side was which. I can’t wait to get to the second book.

I can only imagine what will happen with Zea and Kevon in the next book. Also what’s happening to Ryce and does he really like Zea or is he using her feelings to get even with the royals?

Book Reviews

Before Beauty by Brittany Fichter

My edition: Kindle Owned
Pages: 292
Series: Becoming Beauty #1
Genre: YA, Fairy-tale retelling, Beauty and the Beast
Published: March 9th, 2015
Rating: 3 stars


Can an accursed prince and a broken beauty move beyond their hatred for one another, not only to break the curse and save their kingdom, but to find love as well?

Prince Everard’s father spent the boy’s youth forging the prince into a warrior. Upon the king’s death, however, Everard realizes he’s lost himself somewhere along the way, and in his pain, makes a decision that brings a dark curse upon both him and the great Fortress that has so long guarded the people of Destin.

The prince’s sin doesn’t simply affect those of his citadel, however. Isa, the daughter of a local merchant, has suffered the prince’s hasty temper before, and it changed her life forever. When Everard’s final outburst cuts off his people’s source of protection with the curse, he demands that she, a crippled commoner, come to help him break it. All the while, Destin’s northern enemy crouches at the foot of the Fortress’s mountain, waiting for the right moment to capture the stronghold that has stood for a thousand years.

Can Ever and Isa move past their brokenness to save Destin together, or will they and their beloved kingdom remain under darkness forever?

Buy Before Beauty today to escape into the world of The Becoming Beauty Trilogy, as well as the Classical Kingdoms Collection, a series of fairy tale retellings for grownups who still believe in sacrifice, true love, and the magic of happily-ever-afters. Even though Before Beauty is an introduction to both series, it can be read as a stand-alone as well. 


This was quite a different take on the Beauty and the Beast story. I quite liked it.

It was different. A little slow-paced. I recommend this to anyone who loves Beauty and the Beast. It has a different curse and our heroine was actually crippled by the very prince she will soon fall in love with.

It was a story of two broken people who found that life isn’t always so fair and that being selfish isn’t the best thing for anybody. Especially when you are a ruler of a kingdom.

Book Reviews

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

My edition: Paperback Own
Series: Jurassic Park #1
Genre: Science Fiction


An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now humankind’s most thrilling fantasies have come true. Creatures extinct for eons roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery, and all the world can visit them-for a price.

Until something goes wrong…


Well, this ended up way different than what I thought.

I was a kid when I watched the movie for the first time. I didn’t know there were books until I was older when my dad had the audio cassette tapes (just showed age). But I’m just now getting to read this and it is way different than what I thought.

Obviously, the movie is going to be different but I didn’t expect it to almost rewrite a whole different story with the same concept. The book is a bit gorier.

At first, I didn’t know how I was going to feel about the book but once they got to the island I started to like it a little bit better. Then once they started the tour I really liked it better than the movie.

The movie will always be a classic that I will love but it is going to look so different now after the book.

Book Reviews

Dear Adam by Kelsie Stelting

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 280
Series: Warr Acres High #1
Genre: YA, High School
Published: Feb. 14th, 2019
Rating: 2.5


What happens when the bad boy takes over the school advice column?

The last thing Emerick should be doing is giving anyone advice. His dad’s in prison. His mom’s buried under credit card debt. And he’s one step from failing. After everything his mom’s been through, she can’t take another disappointment. So when the guidance counselor gives him a choice, anonymously write the school’s advice column or drop out, what choice does he really have?

Student body president Nora Wilson has the perfect life. At least, that’s what everyone thinks. And with her dad running for governor . . . reputation is everything. She can’t let anyone know she’s drowning under the pressure. Except for an anonymous advice columnist.

Nora and Emerick can’t stand each other in real life. But online? They may have more in common than they ever thought possible.


This is not the first time I have read something by Kelsie. Please don’t let this review throw you off from reading this book. This is my opinion. I loved the other books written by Kelsie. This is nothing against her writing. I just did not like this book.

At first, I didn’t like Emerick. He was a whiny brat who acted like he was the only one in this world with problems. But once he gets the Dear Adam job he is like “Oh wow, people that have rich parents have real problems too.” I seriously do not like these types of characters. It makes them seem shallow and stuck in their own world. Or maybe most teenagers are like that and I just grew up knowing that people deal with their problems by either becoming total jerks or by being likable. I guess I was raised by parents who told me you never know what’s going on in someone’s life.

The characters didn’t feel real to me. When Emerick has an accident, I didn’t really care nor did it feel vital to the story. It felt more to me like the normal gimmick in the YA/NA recipe. I really want to like these characters but I, personally, didn’t find anything likable. Just another story I wanted to blow through so I could put it on the read pile and move on.

While I did rate this low, it wasn’t so bad of a book that I DNF. Again, please don’t let this deter you from reading it. The story just wasn’t for me.

Book Reviews

Queen of Someday by Sherry D Ficklin

My edition: Kindle owned
Pages: 266
Series: Stolen Empire #1
Genre: Historical Romance, YA, Russia
Published: Oct. 7th, 2014
Rating: 5 stars



Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?


Such happier times, though not so long ago, seem to me now as if they occurred in another lifetime.

Fair warning spoilers ahead

Sophie is invited to Russia to try to win the hand of the Grand Duke Peter. I don’t know much about Catherine the Great but this series is a fictional telling of her story.

This ignited something in me that I have now found I love. That is a good story of a game of royal court relationships. Playing a witty game of survival.

I will have to wait to read the second book. But I can’t wait to see how the newly named Catherine will survive being married to Peter.

Book Reviews

Tallas by Cathrina Constantine

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 310
Series: The Tallas #1
Genre: Dystopia, Sci-fi
Published: Feb 1st, 2014
Rating: 3 stars


In a decimated world, setting foot outside of Tallas is certain death ~ or so they say. Mutations caused by those in the wilderness have plagued citizens ~ or so they say…

For Doogan and Keeyla their belief in a Free Tallas has lost its glimmer. And when their young son, Fabal, is given a dangerous assignment, they risk everything to protect him. Fleeing Tallas, they head for the wilderness. But when they are ambushed by cruel Mediators, Doogan is recaptured, and while Keeyla and Fabal escape, she is severely injured.

Can the two of them survive in the wilderness? Will Doogan get away from the clutches of the Mediators? And are the legends about the terrible monsters beyond the walls of Tallas true?


But Tallas isn’t free. It’s a dictatorship.

This story is good, but it wasn’t for me. I think if I was younger I would have loved this story. As we all know, the older we get the more our preferences change due to experiences we encounter. (Plus certain books we read that destroy our hearts and we never recover nor find a book as good.) While I still love dystopian novels, some just fall short of my parameter.

history forever repeats itself. Corrupt people in power with their hypothetical rhetoric continue to despoil what is left of civilization.

I don’t care which side of politics you are on, this quote is true. No matter what political opinions all end up becoming dictators for the “common good” to help out the people. Face it when most people get power it goes to their heads. This is quite a good story of how that happens but I kind of wish it was flushed out more. I think then I would have liked it then. There seemed to be certain plot points that need to be a little more detailed.

Dying and death had been commonplace over the years yet it never lost its repulsive nature.

I don’t want to dispel you from this book. I due think it is good, I just wish there was more. Maybe there is in the second book. I am just not compelled to read it. Maybe a day in the future I will but as of right now, I think I will move on.

Book Reviews

Rule #1 You Can’t Date the Coach’s Daughter

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 178
Series: The Rules of Love #1
Genre: Football, Young Adult, Romance
Published: August 1st, 2018
Rating: 2 stars


There are two types of people in high school: the ones that you can date and the ones you can’t. Unfortunately for me, I’m the latter. Even though I’m around hot football players every afternoon, they are not allowed to date me. If they even come close to flirting, my dad, Coach “The Boss” Davis, makes them run laps around the field until they puke.

Nothing scares off a boy more than the threat of physical pain.

Not only has he forbidden me to date anyone at all, he’s even made me the football team’s water girl so that he can keep tabs on me. Apparently, over protective dad is a fabulous guy deterrent. Outdoor shops should find a way to bottle it and sell it. They’d make a killing.

What Dad doesn’t know is that I spend every last second of those two blissful hours of practice in the scorching California heat, staring at Tyson Blake. He is the epitome of perfection in a six-foot-two, incredibly toned, smells-good-even-when-he-sweats, senior body. And when he smiles, angels sing. Literally.

And Dad hates him.

It feels a bit cliche to say I fell for the one guy that would send Dad’s already high blood pressure over the top. But it’s true. There’s something about Tyson. Something he’s trying to hide. But I can see through his cocky persona and I know there’s something more.


Now that I have had time to think about this I would say this had a storyline that has been done before and done amazingly. Where this went wrong was underdevelopment. That is the huge issue with this book. The story, the characters, and their love were all underdeveloped that it was unbelievable and had a rushed feeling.

I didn’t like the two main characters. I didn’t like the way that they got together. I didn’t believe in their story of them. I didn’t feel like I fell in love. The ending was too neat and tied up.

This just isn’t for me. I couldn’t finish this fast enough.

Book Reviews

Blackmail Boyfriend by Chris Cannon

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 267
Series: Boyfriend Chronicles #1
Genre: YA, High School, Bet/Deal made
Published: August 11,2015
Rating: 3 stars


Sometimes, blackmail is the only weapon a girl has…

Haley Patterson has had a crush on golden boy Bryce Colton for ages. But when she hears a rumor that he hooked up with her she gives him a choice: be her boyfriend for a month to show other guys that she’s dateable—despite her overprotective and very intimidating brothers—or deal with the angry, cage-fighting boyfriend of the girl he actually did hook up with.

Bryce didn’t know the other Haley even had a boyfriend. He was just trying to get his ex off his back. And now, not only is he being blackmailed, he’s being blackmailed by an honor student. His new “girlfriend” has two three-legged dogs, her father mows grass at the country club, and she’s…well, difficult. And different.

Can something so fake turn into something real? 


How is it that I am now just realizing I have a bunch of rich guy/poor girl romances on my kindle?

Anywho, I must say the H and h made me laugh multiple times but I’m not a huge fan of the H. He is a bit of a jerk.

There are some grammatical errors that need fixing but other than that the writing was good. It was different compared to the other stories I have read recently. I loved the banter but sometimes both MCs got on my nerves. The h for her neediness and the H for his aloofness.

There were times I really wished I was reading about the best friends who fell in love with cupcakes and the ability to just say weird random things that came to mind.

Book Reviews

My Double Life by Janette Rallison

My edition: Kindle Unlimited
Pages: 272
Genre: YA, Bet/deal Made
Published: May 13th, 2010
Rating: 3 stars


Her whole life, Alexia Garcia has been told that she looks just like pop star Kari Kingsley, and one day when Alexia’s photo filters through the Internet, she’s offered a job to be Kari’s double. This would seem like the opportunity of a lifetime, but Alexia’s mother has always warned her against celebrities.

Rebelliously, Alexia flies off to L.A. and gets immersed in a celebrity life. Not only does she have to get used to getting anything she wants, she romances the hottest lead singer on the charts, and finds out that her own father is a singing legend. Through it all, Alexia must stay true to herself, which is hard to do when you are pretending to be somebody else!


This was something different. Completely cute. Alexia decides to rebel against her mom and take a job as a double for Kari Kingsley. One problem, Kari and Alexia share more than just their looks. But Alexia doesn’t know how or if she should share that news.

It was a good read. I am glad I picked it up. Also glad it turned out different than the YA stories that I have been reading right now.